Why Read This
Online consultation can range from the government's hosting an online discussion about policy issues to its co-authoring policy documents with its citizens. It's still a minority practice, but Australia has completed more than 100 online consultations — providing valuable lessons for governments worldwide. In particular, government should understand how its citizens use social media and/or express policy opinions. Using Forrester's POST method, governments can develop clear, realistic goals for consultations to successfully engage their citizens in productive debate. Government should only select tools when the online consultation strategy is clear. Internal leaders should take small steps toward online consultation when necessary — and big steps when the opportunity presents.